Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bloggerment and Monthly Stats

My newly decorated flat....

Thanks to Sir Al,Dudley and Mr Cloud for comments left on the last post re the Britbloggerment.I was also intrigued by Sir Al mentioning a possible Euro-centric BBT.Anything along the lines of the US/Canadian BBT would be fantastic.Mr Clouds comment on possibly changing the game a little also interested me.All and any ideas welcome!

Personally I quite fancied increasing the buy-in as maybe people feel the slow standard mtt format takes too much time for $5.Perhaps though, it's best to leave the buy-in as $5 and try another tourney midweek ( Tues/Wed?) with a $10 or $20 buy-in? I've never set up a game on Full Tilt but moving the $5.50 Britbloggerment there and making it a turbo ( cos turbos rule!)is another possibility.

I noticed when I went to write this post that this blog is now three years and nearly 850 posts old.Thanks to all who read,comment and advertise on this wee space.It's very much appreciated as this blogging lark is sometimes a real struggle to keep things anywhere near fresh and interesting.

Last night for example I played 33 turbos,ran like shit and lost $90.Not much to expand upon there! I did make Silver VIP on Stars and will probably play the $20k freeroll later.

Ok,I will expand upon my $90 loss! I feel I played well most of the time ( donked out of the first game of the night)and had just a few breaks gone my way then it would have been a profitable outing.I could only reply "np nh" to one guy who said "sorry dude" after one of last nights rivered two outers!

I was four-tabling again and there's no doubt that decisions become a bit tougher,as I'm able to pick up more reads just playing two tables.I will give myself more time to adapt and get used to four tables as it's only really 4-6 tabling which brings in decent $$ at sng's.I think I've done quite well playing two, but if I have to sacrifice a percentage of my roi to increase my overall hourly profit then I think it will be worth it in the end.

I do genuinely feel I'm not running well just now and I'm hoping to ( one day soon!)have a 30 game session where I win a good few hundred to balance up all the crap over the last week or so.My Sharkscope stats say I've played 320 turbos this month at Stars and made $669 running at 17% roi which is okay, but I hope to run a little better and make more next month.I realise too that most poker players think they always run badly and have worse luck than the next player and if I do consistently keep losing when four-tabling then I'll cut it back to two and take stock.Either that or I'll keep filling my blog with bad beat tales!

Much more exciting stuff going on elsewhere in blog land.Amatay reckons he can make $10k from $33 sngs in the month of June and people are lining up to bet against him.Betting is temporarily closed but I'm hoping my $50 bet will be accepted if he reopens it.I've played against him in the Bloggerment and have no doubts he's a skilled player, but I think $10k in a month is going to be very tough to achieve.

0k,monthly stats time.I will be playing later after picking Nacho up and dropping Step A at her Dads and will come back and edit them to reflect todays play.I've also intend to cashout ( don't tell Stars,I'm running badly enough there as it is!!) enough to cover my car insurance,credit card balance,car service + MOT+ 4 new tyres and also the £580 Uefa cup final ticket I bought.

Pokerstars $6304 ( + $686) ,Party $1845 ( +$133),Ladbrokes $1049 ( +$356),Full Tilt $792 ( + $8) ,Bet 365 $587 ( + $17),Pokerroom $36 ( =). Total $10613 ( + $1200 for month)

Although it's felt like a tough month at Stars, the Party $33's and occasional $55's have gone well over a tiny sample size and my cash wins at Laddies have helped boost my profits too.It's the first time my bankroll has ever been over $10k and I've now made $6789 after 7 months ( since Oct 31st '07) of my 4th year of online poker.

Well my bankroll was over $10k and now it's not! Here are the new stats after my cashouts.

Pokerstars $6304,Party $1097 ( had to deposit $50 by debit card as original deposit there made on an old unused credit card. - $800),Ladbrokes $249 ( -$800 to switch card),Full Tilt $92 ( -$700 by cheque),Bet 365 $587,Pokerroom $36.Total $8332.

Righty,off to pick my boy up...

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday update

The ex called the other night and offered to clean the flat in return for me loading some new songs onto her mp3 player and I agreed.I picked her up and popped in to say a quick hello to Step A who asked me if I could look after her this Wednesday.I'm looking forward to it already!

On the poker front despite my post yesterday about needing 151 fpp's ,I ended up playing only two $33's at Party and came 2nd in one of them.I actually saved a hand history where a villain had shoved his A9h after a raise and a reraise just to show that ( certainly on Party)the $33's are pretty soft.Tonight I shall be mostly hammering Stars turbos to try and reach silver.

I've not set the Bloggerment up yet and I'm still not sure I will.Last weeks low turnout and chatbox "fun" make me think it's not worth it.I'm not an "it's my ball and I'm taking it home" kind of guy so I may set it up regardless of other factors.It seems a shame to me that US/Canadian bloggers have almost daily tourneys and even their own Radio Station ( well worth a listen) and over here we can't get many people to show for a wee $5 game.

Sunday is also the night the new RTR league ( see for details) starts and as it looks like those games are going to be of the shorthanded slow play variety I may give it a miss this time around.Now if they were turbos!

Ok,not much planned for the weekend other than picking my boy up tomorrow and hammering the tables.

Back soon...

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Silver Awaits...

I only require 151 frequent player points to reach Silver status on Stars for only the second time and I'm determined to make it by the end of the month! I have about 11,000 Fpp's and can't decide what to do with them.I've always fancied another crack at the Sunday Million for 13.5k fpp's even although it's probably not the most ev + option.Hmmmm.

Last night I was hoping to be looking after Step A but she was staying with a friend.I've not looked after her now for a wee while and I find that quite tough to deal with.I did have Nacho staying with me and it was a chance to test his new extended lead.It took him about 2 minutes to get it tangled and accidentally pee on it! For anyone wondering how he coped with his shower at the weekend,the answer is with great reluctance! My newly medicated mutt now reckons the bathroom is rigged and won't go near it without his tin foil coat on..

I was very tired and decided to take a break from poker last night.As a true degenerate this means I only played a couple of turb's late on and I managed a second place finish in one of them.I now start work at 8am on Thursdays and Fridays and sensibly went to my bed after those games.

I'm no maths expert but I enjoyed this Radio 4 programme on probability.The part on coin flips ( aprox 11.30mins into it) was of particular interest as it feels like I've not won a flip at the poker tables since about 2005...

Ok,that's all I've got..Oh apart from a bird crapping on my colleague when we were out for a walk at lunchtime.Good excuse for this tune....

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wanted:Tin foil hat

I've always said the greatest asset a poker player can have is resilience and mine has been tested more than I've ever known by the variance biatch since last weekend.I thought failing to cash in sng's twenty times in a row on four or five occasions had toughened me up mentally and I could cope with anything that was thrown at me.I had hoped writing about my nightmare 50 game,11 hour session at the weekend would somehow free me from the downswing I've been on and perhaps some sort of normal service would resume.

I've been asking myself if playing four tables at a time has caused my game to slip massively and I genuinely don't think that's the case.What it does do is accelarate the variance and that's something I'm learning to deal with.

I had written the stuff below during the heat of battle last night and as it's essentially a boring bad beat post, I resisted posting and planned to delete it today.Thankfully, I won my last two $16's of the evening back to back and actually made a decent profit for the night.I decided to post it anyway (edited:deleted the bad beat hand histories) as I think it helps demonstrate perfectly why I feel mental toughness is just as important as skill in this game.

Horrible suckouts, a load of lost races,one second place and two wins actually made for a good night in the end.I read Mark at Planet Gongs post asking people to think why they play poker.My instant answer is always "the money", but on reflection I think I'm a sicko and much of the time I really thrive on the mental battle to keep playing well and not be affected by the repetitive beats which are a huge part of the turbo sng world.I enjoy giving myself "get a grip" pep talks and ( hopefully) bouncing back from bad beats and recording a profitable night.I also love the buzz of feeling truly in the poker zone, but that's maybe for another post.

Original boring bad beat post below....

Last night was more poker hell.Tin foil hats are not funny anymore.I want to know where I can buy one!

My last two games summed up recent luck when my Aces were busted by JJ and my AK was beaten by AQ.

Tonight I've lost to k5 sooted on the bubble with a pair,Aces busted,Kings busted.Had enough.Took a 2nd place and then the hand below.I don't think I post a ton of bad beats on this blog because I know they're boring as hell, but this is how I'm running ,these are standard, and I need to vent!

I heart Stars random number generator..really...I do.

Ok,off for a few more beats before bed.Back when this poker nightmare is over.I may be some time...

Edit: Deleted the bad beat hand histories.This blog is boring enough without 'em.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bad Beat Dog..

On reflection Fridays nights marathon losing turbo session wasn't entirely wasted.In poker you have to learn to accept losing and get used to bad sessions/weeks and even months.It's just that kind of game.I didn't enjoy the experience, but the next time I run like that over 50 games I'll be able to look back on nights like Friday and take heart from the fact I kept my cool during it,I didn't give up and I kept my losses to a minimum.

I'm always banging on about the long run to people after beats.I suppose that's because I feel like I've been through so many bad runs of my own that I accept they are natural aspects of the game and if I can get through them and profit then anyone can.

Last night I began by coming 3rd in a $33 single table turbo at Party before catching up with Rosie,Juice and Al Eleven in the chat thing.I only played seven $16's and fared far better on the luck front,managing a couple of cashes, including a win, to leave me $107 up at Stars for my work.I still bubbled once and had premium hands busted and I can handle that.It was just the unrelenting nature of Fridays beats and lost races which took me by surprise a little.Perhaps the first time I go on a 100-200 game downswing I'll look back and laugh at a 50 game blip!

During play, I've been trying to save one or two of the more interesting/unusual hand histories I'm involved in.I do ( regularly it seems!) post the hands I played like a donkey so they wont all be hands where I think I've outplayed someone or used a read well.If they do come across as boring brag posts with little value then by all means let me know in the comments box!

This first hand was unusual because I don't often call someone down with Ace high on the river.

PokerStars Game #17668497879: Tournament #89590410, $15+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2008/05/24 - 21:56:55 (ET)
Table '89590410 2' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
Seat 1: joker0606 (1480 in chips)
Seat 2: cbhawk41 (2400 in chips)
Seat 3: zagga (3140 in chips)
Seat 4: Rigger359 (1320 in chips)
Seat 5: yamador1 (1550 in chips)
Seat 7: ORBEZO (1370 in chips)
Seat 8: thurst e (860 in chips)
Seat 9: Havran rick (1380 in chips)
thurst e: posts small blind 10
Havran rick: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to zagga [Qs As]
joker0606: folds
cbhawk41: folds
zagga: raises 100 to 120: 6bb preflop raise is standard here.Sometimes I'll make it 3bb and sometimes as much as 10bb depending on how the table is playing and my hand.
Rigger359: folds
yamador1: folds
ORBEZO: folds
thurst e has timed out
thurst e: folds
thurst e is sitting out
Havran rick: calls 100 : One caller.No reads but he doesn't seem to have stepped out of line so far.

*** FLOP *** [4h 7c Jh]: Apart from the flush draw it's not a bad flop for me.He's only going to have a set occasionally and only AJ/KJ/J10 type hands really worry me.

Havran rick: checks

zagga: bets 240: With his 1380 stack a bet of 240 is denying him odds to draw and is also representing such strength that it makes it hard for him to feel confident about bluffing me.I'd expect a strong Jack to reraise here to protect against the flush draw, even although as the preflop raiser,the chances of me drawing to a heart flush are actually quite slim when you take into account my full raising range.

Havran rick: calls 240 : He could know the above and be trapping with a Jack.I have position though and I'll see how the turn develops.

*** TURN *** [4h 7c Jh] [7d]

Havran rick: checks : I don't think the 7 has made much difference.How many hands containing a 7 could he call a preflop raise with? Not many.

zagga: checks : If he is trapping with the Jack,I'm not going to stack off here although I'm now leaning towards him drawing to the flush.

*** RIVER *** [4h 7c Jh 7d] [4c]

Havran rick: bets 480 : The flush fails to get there,he's not been protecting any Jack,he doesn't have a 7 and I can't see how a 4 helps him here either.He could have 55/66/88/99 but my gut feeling is he's on a missed flush draw and is now trying to steal the pot.He may think his Ah or Kh is good anyway on the double paired board,especially as I looked weaker by not firing again on the turn.

zagga: calls 480
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Havran rick: shows [Th Ah] (two pair, Sevens and Fours)
zagga: shows [Qs As] (two pair, Sevens and Fours)
Havran rick collected 845 from pot
zagga collected 845 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1690 | Rake 0
Board [4h 7c Jh 7d 4c]
Seat 3: zagga showed [Qs As] and won (845) with two pair, Sevens and Fours
Seat 9: Havran rick (big blind) showed [Th Ah] and won (845) with two pair, Sevens and Fours

Here's one from the $33 single table turbo I played at Party last night.
100/200 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (STT Tournament 40248449) - Sat May 24 18:30:58 EDT 2008
Table Speed 1330127 (Real Money) -- Seat 2 is the button
Total number of players : 6
Seat 1: marv333 (3380)
Seat 2: Oudeman (2150)
Seat 5: Acornmn (2790)
Seat 7: pauli998 (1990)
Seat 8: Hydroxylysin (3205)
Seat 10: Ivko111 (6485)
Acornmn posts small blind (100)
pauli998 posts big blind (200)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Acornmn [ Ts, Kh ]
Hydroxylysin folds
Ivko111 folds
marv333 folds
Oudeman folds
Acornmn calls (100): I don't like limping often but the villain was a fishy calling station who liked to "make moves" and I didn't fancy having to possibly make a c-bet on a board I'd missed with a marginal hand, out of position.I didn't just call blindly though.I did think I probably had the best hand and planned to take the pot post-flop if possible.

pauli998 checks
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 2d, 3s, Ad ]

Acornmn bets (400): Bet the scare card Ace and hope pauli998 has nothing and folds.

pauli998 calls (400): He took a while and called.He was so fishy I'd have expected him to reraise most limps preflop if he had any kind of Ace and I felt he was simply floating me here.( I'd been tight and hadn't been to showdown to get my stack)

** Dealing Turn ** : [ 5c ]

Acornmn bets (1000): Time to go with it and fire a second barrel.I make it 1k to be sure I give him little room to bluff,leave him in no doubt I have the Ace or get him to think I've got lucky with a 4 and made my straight.I know it's highly unlikely I have a 4 but as he's a fish I doubt he's aware of that.

pauli998 folds:Phew!
** Summary **
Main Pot: 1200
Board: [ 2d 3s Ad 5c ]
Acornmn balance 3390, bet 1600, collected 2200, net +600
pauli998 balance 1390, lost 600 (folded)

Ok,someone's in for a bad beat this afternoon and he's not even going to see it coming!I borrowed dog shampoo from the ex and after washing his bed, it's now just about time for Nacho to get a shower followed by a long run at the pitches to dry off.This could be messy....

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Grind

Just a short post as I need to get last night at the tables out of my system.I played 52 turbos between 9.40pm and 8.15am this morning and lost $92.The bad news was that I've never run so badly at the tables in my life.I've gone 0/20 without cashing before, but last night my luck was so terrible I half expected a candid camera team to jump out of my kitchen and inform me it was all just a big joke. I always try and convince myself there's no such thing as running badly and that the outcome of the last hand should not affect the outcome of the next.I should have given up and gone to bed long before I did.Online poker isn't going anywhere and the long run will always be there to make up for nights when the variance biatch slaps me around.

It was my own stubborn nature and belief that I was playing well and only needed a bit more luck to strings some wins/cashes together and get back into profit for the night.I did actually finish with three in the money finishes in a row and did win three other games too over the course of the night.I think it shows how bad the variance was that despite winning three and cashing a few other times,I still ended up down nearly $100.It's less than six buy-ins at $16 and I suppose I should try and look at it as 52 games at $4 profit per game as that's my average rather than seeing it a losing night.

The good news is that I was 4/6 tabling without too many problems and apart from one or two loose calls ( calling an all in with QK and losing to a solid regulars AJ was one)I kept my head relatively calm considering the bad beat bombardment I was suffering.

Five hours sleep and then I was up for the cup final.Rangers beat Queen of the South 3-2 to lift the famous old trophy for the 32nd time with goals from Boyd ( 2) and Beasley winning it for the Gers after QOTS did well to bring the score back to 2-2 just after halftime.

Ok,I'm so tired that's it for now...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Time to play a game....

Sadly I was right about Rangers playing too many games in a short period of time and we didn't win the league this season.Thanks to the SFA/SPL we have 41 hours from the end of last nights game to prepare for tomorrows Scottish Cup final.I've always believed the league table doesn't lie at the end of the season, but I still think we are a better team than our rivals and that the reasons I posted about previously ( poor refs and fixture congestion)are why we came 2nd in the end.

Our rivals chief executive quote that extending the season to make it fairer for Rangers would some how have compromised "sporting intergrity" was complete bollocks.Why not just say "We wanted Rangers to play as many games as possible to help give our shitty team a chance".Wanker.Anyways, Nuff Said.

I was also sorry to see Chelsea fail to win the European Cup on Wednesday night after being pipped by Manchester Utd on penalties.I thought Man Utd had the best of the first half and Chelsea outplayed them after that.

To the poker and I played in the Bodog blogger game on Tuesday night although I felt a bit of a fraud in the end.It started at 2am ,was deepstacked ( which I hadn't checked) and although the prize money was ok,it was really about accumulating points through finishing positions.As this was a one-off for me due to being off work the points didn't really matter and after 1/2hour I was looking for a way out without donating my chips too easily and spoiling the spirit of the game.I ended up shoving over the top of a raise with AQ and going out to Aces.

On Wednesday night after the football I watched "The Apprentice" and decided to play the $11,$20k gtd Mtt on Stars with 2500 other donkeys.I was playing my usual $16 turbos alongside the mtt as I'm far too much of an action junkie to just play one slow play mtt! I ended up busting in 127th place for a whopping $32 payout.I have the roll but not the skills or balls to play some mtt's with bigger buy-ins and smaller fields.

I've played 55 turbo games on Stars and won $230 since my last post.I've been four tabling more often and even trying six tabling at the $3.40's to get used to the pace of it.Last night I ran terribly at the $16's and only stepping up and coming 2nd in both $27's I played before bed helped make it a decent nights work.I have 122 leaderboard points from three $27's and may try and play some more of them before the 4am Sunday deadline for the end of the leaderboard.My decent streaks recently have always seemed to overlap from one set of twenty to the next and it would be nice to make the Battle of the Planets leaderboard for once.

At least I've reached another goal though and have now broken through the $7k profit barrier according to Sharkscope.Next goal is $8k!

The s-man is coming over this evening and the plan is to rent Saw 4 on dvd and enjoy some spriggage with it.( sprigs of herb!)

"Spriggage" is our latest code word for the good herb.Reminds me of the furtive conversations I used to have as a teen when having "sore feet" meant you were not able to speak freely.No wonder my Mum took me to the chiropodist so often...

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Beautiful Game...

I'm off work for the rest of this week and will probably take a blogging break for a wee while too after this post.

Thanks to all 13 who showed up to play in Sundays Britbloggerment game on Stars and congrats to Mair for winning it.I came 3rd after getting the money in from the big blind with 53 on a 5 3 4 rainbow board.Mair must have be worshipping at Dd's church of Dyson as the 2 fell on the turn to make her A4 a gutshot straight!No complaints.All goot fun.

No more poker on Sunday and last night I watched Rangers beat St Mirren 3-0 to take the title race to the last day.We are still four goals behind our rivals on goal difference thanks partly to recent refereeing blunders which have gifted them goals, and thanks also to inexplicably ruled out goals for teams playing them.I don't see us scoring at least 6 against Aberdeen on Thursday night, but even if we don't win the league,it's still been a great adventure this season and we have a Scottish Cup final on Saturday to look forward to.

Nice to see a more balanced article in The Times re Rangers supporters in Manchester.

I had to laugh at ignorant critics who have slated Rangers style of play this season.Last season we won nothing and finished miles behind our rivals.Our manager has rebuilt an entire squad on a tiny budget and if people think we can go out and play Brazil 1970 style football against a team like Zenit who beat the mighty Bayern Munich 4-0 in the semi-final, and who spent more on one player than our entire transfer budget, then they are sadly deluded.

Our rivals made the Uefa cup final five years ago with a far more expensively assembled team which relied heavily on tall strong players,playing a long ball game and making the most of set-pieces.It was a shrewd plan and it almost worked for them.When you can't compete on monetary terms, ( thanks to the small television revenues Scottish clubs get)you have to look for a different edge.Rangers edge this season has been team spirit and hard work.Perhaps in the summer we can buy a flair player or two and play a little more like this...

Even if your not a football fan, fast forward the clip to the three minute mark and enjoy the greatest goal ever scored!

Back to the poker and last night at Stars was horrible.I won a wee $3.40 single table warm up game and then flounced out of six $16 turbos in a row without cashing.Twice I lost to set over set and even when I won a race on the flop,I was being scudded by the turn and river cards.Ac6c against my AJ was particularly amusing as I was so busy looking for the villains 6 kicker hitting on the flop ,it took me a second to realise he didn't need it as he'd flopped a flush.Shoving K4 into Aces late on in my last game at Stars wasn't a pleasant way to finish!

I moved to Party and fired up some $22 and $33 single table turbs.Sharkscope doesn't seem to work properly at Party which is frustrating as I like to track my own results and check out the competition.I donked out of two $22's and two $33's before taking down a $33 ( $150 1st prize)which left me $7 up overall there.

Ok,thanks for reading...

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Volume and clear head

No wonder Rangers fans sing "Fuck the SPL". ( Scottish Premier League)Making us play four games in eight days, including a Uefa Cup final caught up with us yesterday, as we could only draw 1-1 with Motherwell, and now look likely to lose the title on goal difference.The Russian FA gave Zenit St Petersburg a couple of weeks off before last weeks Uefa final but Rangers were forced to play on the Saturday.Hmmmmf!

To the poker and Friday night was a little mixed.I made $60 from eleven turbos,won $35 at a Ladbrokes $200nl table and blew a $100 buy-in at Bet365 on a hand I'm not sure I could have got away from.I had AhKs and got the money in on a QhKh10h flop ( I was aprox 60/40 underdog) thinking I was good.The villain had KK, I wasn't expecting that,and didn't improve.

Last night I hit the turbs and decided to try some more 4/6 tabling.I'm pleased to say I've mastered the technique required... and can now roll a smoke whilst four tabling! Six is still a bit tricky!

This one outer came quite early in the night and thankfully I was able to laugh it off and not begin to steam...

I read an excellent response from Jennifear to a question on Pocketfives asking how to deal with sng turbo variance.The answer? Volume and a clear head.Short,to the point and most importantly,as usual, she is bang on the money!

Keeping that clear head in the face of the inevitable beats is never easy.As I've probably mentioned before I use a couple of simple mental tricks that work for me most of the time.Imagining I really am playing at coin flips helps.We all know if we were to toss a coin a good few times, there will be occasions when it will land on the same side a seemingly improbable amount of times in a row.Likewise at the casino the roulette display boards will often show a streak of wins for red/black or for odd/even numbers.These runs may last for 10,15 or even 20 in a row but they will even out in the end.

Another thing I try not to do is to look ahead in the hand and imagine myself winning it as that can lead to tilt too.I don't get dealt Aces and look ahead to the big pot I must win as I've been dealt the best hand in poker.I think allowing your thoughts to race ahead to the reward you feel you are somehow due ( and nobody is due anything at poker)just increases the anger,frustration and chances of tilt when your hand doesn't hold up.

The same can be applied to football.I was obviously very disappointed that Rangers didn't win the Uefa cup last week.I have however felt much worse after other defeats, despite that being our biggest game for years and years.Possibly because I knew Zenit were a good side,I didn't look ahead and imagine us beating them.They won 2-0 with a goal at the end of each half.However,if Rangers had been 1-0 up until the last minute,Zenit has scored an injury time equaliser and had then gone on to score three more and win in extra-time ,I would have been inconsolable.The trophy may not be won until the final whistle blows but until that hypothetical injury time equaliser,it would have been nearly impossible not to imagine Rangers were going to win and to envisage the celebrations and partying that would have resulted.

Anyway the 4/6 tabling went well and I left Stars $285 up over the 24 turbs I played.By this time I fancied a change of scenery.I couldn't find a juicy cash table and decided to hit some $33 single table turbos on Party.I played two and managed a 3rd place in one of them to leave me about even.The play was dreadful and I fired up a couple more and ventured up to $55 sng turbo land too.The $55's were not full of sharks either and I didn't feel outplayed there at all.What I did notice was that after not making the money in a couple of $33's and $55's, suddenly I was down about $200.I had to remind myself that was only a few buy-ins at those levels and nothing to panic about.

By this time it was just after 4am and I was so tired/wasted that I was splashing water on my face to try and keep me awake.I fired up a a couple more $33's + $55's and tried to stay focused.Winning a nice pot at the $55 must have sent enough of a buzz around my head to spark something, as I ended up winning the $33 and coming 3rd at the $55 for a $45 overall profit.I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Looks like my cousin can't get any time off next month for our Amsterdam trip which is frustrating.Rosie is away that weekend or that would have been an even better option.I may do a Dr Pauly inspired trip on my own with just some good books and my laptop for company.Hmmm.

I'm only in work tomorrow before being off for the rest of the week.I'd booked it off a while ago as it looked like being the only time off available all summer until I managed to bag that week in June. I'm tempted to cancel it as Rosie is away anyway and I have no real plans.I'm now just looking forward to some long lie in's and no work!

Ok,Don't forget to register for tonights Bloggerment at 9pm bst on Stars.Pass:donkament. It's only rumours ( tenuous link to youtube video clip)but Dr Pauly is already registered and The Last King of Scotland ( until now known as Dudley/Res/dD)will hopefully show up too.Dr Pauly is based in New York but TLKOS is not so far away.( even more tenuous link to second youtube clip!)

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Tongue Held

On the pokey front I let my ego take charge this week I'm afraid! I usually only play $6 games if Rosie and Juice are playing or to warm up for the $16's, but after a good start to this week, I fancied getting on the Stars planet leaderboard and have stayed at the $6 level all week.Last night I played seven,lost $13 overall and didn't hit any form at all.I did face plenty of the usual suckouts but I was also way off my best game.

I love abusing the bubble by being extremely aggressive and building my stack.It only takes a couple of moves with very high blinds to take the lead usually and once the chiplead has been achieved, pounding the rest into submission is usually quite straight forward. ( except the shortest stack as
I like to keep them alive as I weaken the rest)

The $6 are frustrating at times because the players are so weak they don't realise if there's a very short stack then they should be folding marginal hands on the bubble and not calling shoves with them.As always it's up to me to adjust accordingly.I'd never blame bad players for being bad! I love 'em really!

Ok, loads more I could say today.Life is too short though.Enjoy the weekend...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Manchester '08

On the poker front I played five $6 turbs on Tuesday night and took down two of them.
End of poker content for this post!

Before my trip report I wanted to say I was sorry to hear today of the death of ex Celtic player and manager,Tommy Burns,from cancer.I don't have much time for any celtc players,past or present but he was a true gentleman and will be missed by all decent football fans in Glasgow and beyond.

Ok,at about 9.30am yesterday I picked my cousin up and after stopping at the bank we hit the road to Manchester for the Uefa Cup final.We lost the game 2-0 in the end, but apart from the result we had an amazing day from the moment we hit the motorway on the way down.It seemed every car had Rangers flags and scarves hanging from it and every bridge we passed under has banners of support and people waving.Manchester city council now estimate aprox 200,000 people made the trip and it certainly felt like we were at home when we arrived in Manchester.

We were due to meet friends of my cousin and we were lucky enough to grab a parking space near to the centre of the city.The visit to the bank earlier had been to withdraw enough to allow us to pay a ticket tout a vastly inflated price for a game my cousin and I decided we just couldn't miss.We met up with the tout and did the deal ( two tickets for £1160/$2250 ) in a lift in a shop.My mum reckons we were "deranged" to pay that kind of money but it's coming out of my poker account and despite the score it was still worth every last penny.

Thanks to Mark at Pokerpains for his post on the strength of the Dollar.I've now extended my overdraft ( for 3 months) to cover the cost of my tickets and will cashout when the dollar hopefully hits around $1.70 as per his advice and will obviously sue Mark,siting his blog post if it doesn't. :-)))

After we'd secured our tickets we walked to the fanzones which were just a massive sea of red,white and blue.There was a huge US flag in one of the zones and some guys/gals had even travelled from as far as Australia and Singapore for the game.The atmosphere was friendly and the local police and people could not have been more helpful or welcoming.We did meet up with my cousins friends for a short while before my cousin and I headed off in the car to try and find the stadium for the game.

I was disappointed by the Asda store and Macdonalds attitude.They are both right beside the stadium and neither would allow parking for the match.Now on normal matchdays I can understand that but surely when you have so many visitors from another country visiting,an exception could have been made for once.We had even bought food/drinks from Asda but there was a guy with a clipboard taking registration numbers to enforce the 1 hour 45 min max stay rule they have.Luvin' it? I don't think so.

We did get parked ok ( £10 at nearby rip off car park) and for once ( my cousin and I always run late) we made it to the ground with plenty of time to spare.The tickets we bought looked genuine but we were still both relieved to see a wee green light for "go" when we scanned the barcode at the turnstiles.We may have paid over the odds, however they were fantastic seats positioned right on the halfway line and just above where the press sit.

The game itself flew in faster than any I've ever experienced.Zenit are a good team and had by far the better of the play in the first half with Rangers content to contain them.We started the second half more brightly and made a couple of good chances before they scored with a neat move in the 72nd minute.We threw men forward and were caught out again with the last kick of the ball when they scored to make it 2-0.My cousin and I stayed to cheer the efforts of our team and to give applause to the Zenit team as they collected the trophy.

We did have the option to stay with my cousins friends in Manchester which was great but we were on a downer after the game and just wanted to head home.We were soon on the motorway and although we were held up for an hour by an accident ,we made it home safely for just after 2am.

I was saddened to read today of trouble in Manchester caused by a very small minority of the huge number of fans that travelled there.Apparently the big screen that was supposed to be showing the match was switched off just before kick-off and this caused some of the fans to kick off.Rumour now has it that the council switched them off due to the sheer numbers of people as they were worried about health and safety issues if Rangers scored.I'm not for a second condoning any bad behaviour but if the rumour is true it beggars belief.Makes me even more glad my I secured a ticket for the game and headed home afterwards.

Overall my cousin and I had a fantastic day out and although I'm gutted that the Gers didn't win and bring the trophy home,I'll never forget the experience.We are the People!

Off to pick Nacho up shortly,take him for a run and maybe hit the tables later...

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Brace yourself Manchester!

The Gers are coming!

The convoy has begun as the cars begin to pass by outside my work with horns blaring and flags flying.I've no idea how many are travelling down to Manchester for the final but estimates range from 80-125k people! It's going to be some party!

My passenger side electric window has been stuck half down since Sunday but thankfully the garage have jammed it back up until it gets fixed on Friday.Looks like I'll be leaving for Manchester about 9.15am with my cousin.We don't have tickets yet and so far the plan is to watch the game on the big screens the council are providing.We have somewhere to stay but I may just drive back up the road straight after the game.Sadly Bristol is nowhere near Manchester or a detour may have been taken!

Congrats to Mr Edge who played really well to take down Sunday nights Bloggerment.Although it seemed a little slow and took some time to come to the boil,it was an enjoyable game and thanks to all who played.The numbers may be down but the chatbox was still buzzing and I don't think it's time to put the tourney to bed just yet.It is open to all bloggers/readers and that includes those who read blogs but don't have the time or inclination to leave comments!

I played a few turbs afterwards and didn't cash.I did bubble horribly yet again ,this time when some muppet shortstack called my K8 push with 95c and rivered a flush.No other option other than to ride out the crappy streak I was on and keep battering away at the sngs.

Weegem asked me at the Bloggerment if I do any coaching and I said I'd give it a go over a few games with him and see if I could be of any help with his turbo sng game.I'm not sure I'll be able to help much, but I did always want to be a teacher and I do love my poker which makes me think it's worth a try.

He plays mainly $3.40 single table turbos and I began my poker last night by playing one to get a feel for it.Verdict? Very fishy indeed!

At one point a big stack limped,I reraised with AK and when it got back to the big stack he shoved all in with AJ.After I'd won that pot I didn't have to do much else, although I did think I was in trouble after a failed steal attempt left me in fourth with five left.That was until the big stack shoved and two idiots called,one with 52 off and the other ( current 3rd placed player) with KJ.The bigstack won the hand,I made the money and from there I managed to chip up and win it.

A bit later I played two $6 ,18 player turbos with Juice ( Quixote) and took both down for a perfect 3/3 sng win record for the night.After my nightmare weekend at the turbs,those wins were very welcome and hopefully the worst of my bad run is over.Don't get me wrong,I expect to lose many, many races and have plenty of big hands busted during a session, however I also expect to be able to win enough to make up for the standard beats the turbs provide.

Ok,don't expect any posts for a few days.Manchester and the Uefa Cup final await....

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Good,Bad and Ugly

On Friday night I was over at the s-mans watching "Man on Fire" and only played a couple of turbos ,coming 3rd in one.

Yesterday I was a Ibrox to watch Rangers beat Dundee Utd 3-1 with two cracking goals by the Nacho man.After the game I picked up my dog,Nacho,and took him for a long run at the pitches.

Later I found an excellent HBO show on the Virgin cable tv choice thing called "Taxi cab confessions" set in New York and Vegas.They placed several tiny hidden cameras in taxis and recorded customers revealing some fascinating stuff about themselves.It's quite an old show ( recorded mid nineties) but well worth a look.

The 'Stars $6,$16 and $27 turbos were calling and I just had one of those nights where I kept getting continually outdrawn by inferior hands on a repeated basis,over and over and over again.If that wasn't happening then the shortstacks I was playing would hit their miracle cards and leave me feeling like I was pissing against the wind.

I took a wee break from Pokerstars and managed to get rivered at a Party $11 game which convinced me that it's me that's rigged and not any particular poker site!

I feel I've played enough games to be able to take a step back and look closely at my own game when things aren't going well and not deceive myself if I'm adding to my bad luck by not playing my best game.The good news was that despite the repeated kickings lady luck was dishing out,I did feel I was playing well and I wasn't letting the beats knock me out of my stride.

I fired up another $11,came 3rd and then managed a 2nd place finish on a $33 single table turb on Party before going back to 'Stars to play some more $27 games.I wish I hadn't bothered.I bubbled twice and had a couple of 6th and 7th place finishes.The only positive to take was that I wasn't being outplayed and the $27's seemed no less fishy than the $16's overall.I can be quite a stubborn determined person and at 4am I was ready to fire up some more and try to ride out the nasty variance and bag at least a win or in the money finish to make a dent in my Stars deficit.( $178 down over 15 games)

I decided I was too tired to commit to another set of turbs and that a Ladbrokes $100 nl 6 max cash table was the best place to play until I'd finished my last smoke.I found quite a wild table with plenty of cash being splashed around and was about to go to bed $30 up when this hand occured.I had been playing quite a solid game up until this point but can't help feeling I let a little of my old "last orbit syndrome" kick in and affect me.One of my Stars $27 bubble finishes involved me raising with A10,getting the money in on a ten high flop,watching an Ace fall on the turn and and the river bringing a Queen to make Mr KJ his straight.No wonder it's called a gutshot! Truly sickening moment.

Anyway in this cash hand I called the $4 raise with K10 as I felt dallens preflop opening range was wide and he seemed the type of player I could stack if I hit the flop hard.

** Game ID 981337401 starting - 2008-05-11 04:30:40
** Baudrillard [Hold 'em] (0.50|1.00 No Limit - Cash Game) Real Money

- dallen4 sitting in seat 1 with $110.62
- --ErnieEls-- sitting in seat 2 with $62.58
- _Superb1ues_ sitting in seat 3 with $52.78
- Frogatron sitting in seat 4 with $293.56 [Dealer]
- Teikumseh sitting in seat 5 with $108.37
- Acornman sitting in seat 6 with $130.61

Teikumseh posted the small blind - $0.50
Acornman posted the big blind - $1.00

** Dealing card to Acornman: 10 of Diamonds, King of Spades
dallen4 raised - $4.00
--ErnieEls-- folded
_Superb1ues_ folded
Frogatron called - $4.00
Teikumseh folded
Acornman called - $4.00

** Dealing the flop: Jack of Spades, 3 of Spades, Ace of Diamonds

>> Missed the flop and only have an inside ( gutshot) straight draw.

Acornman checked
dallen4 bet - $8.00
Frogatron folded

Acornman called - $8.00 >> Loose? Tilty? Justified? Hmmm!

** Dealing the turn: Queen of Clubs

>>> 4.30am and I finally strike gold!

Acornman checked

dallen4 bet - $22.00

Acornman raised - $44.00 > I thought he had the Ace and that my bet would look like a weak semi-bluff of the spade flush draw.If I didn't have the Ace this looked the most likely reason for me staying in the pot and I felt the villain may commit his stack here to protect his hand.

dallen4 went all-in - $76.62
Acornman called - $98.62 >> sweet!

** Dealing the river: 8 of Clubs
dallen4 shows: Ace of Hearts, 3 of Hearts
Acornman shows: 10 of Diamonds, King of Spades
Acornman wins $222.74 from the main pot

I only played a few more hands after that,renewed the hay in my stable and after braying contentedly I finally got some much needed sleep.( about $12 up overall across all sites for the night)

Todays plan is to watch the climax of the Premiership season,take Nacho to the pitches,give Step A a lift home and hit the Bloggerment later on after dinner.

First I'm off to check the auction sites for tickets cheaper than £2.5k per pair for Wednesdays Uefa cup final...

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Britbloggerment Open...

It's funny how life works.I found out the Russian ticket option ( for Uefa Cup final) isn't going to happen and although I'm gutted about that, my mood has brightened considerably due to other stuff.

On the poker front my wee cousin was over last night to watch me manage one money finish from about six wee $6 turbs as I continue to run badly.Not much else to report there.

I've a few things to rant about too.( can anyone tell I've not had my nicotine hit after dinner yet?!).

On a serious note first, what the hell is going on in Burma after that devastating cyclone?I'm reading tonight on the news wires that the UN have suspended aid operations after two mercy flights were seized by the military government there.It's heartbreaking enough to see the news coverage of the devastation without reading about crap like that.Apparently the UN will attempt another two flights tomorrow whilst in talks with the ruling regime there over the missing aid.

Edit: I still feel a little uneasy about including the tragic situation in Burma and silly stuff about water coolers in the same post but I suppose that's the nature of blog posts sometimes.Here's a website for anyone wishing to donate money to help.

To move on to entirely trivial and minor matters,why the feck do the people in front of me at the office water cooler insist on filling up 1-2 litre bottles everytime I'm waiting to use the damn thing.Use the small cups provided like everyone else you twats!

One last thing...Marks and Spencer spreadable butter.Spreadable straight from the fridge eh.I don't think so.Great if you like big holes in your bread or great big dollops of butter but to call it easily spreadable is a joke.Get it sorted M n S!

Right I'm heading over to the s-mans for an evening of film and COD4.Don't forget tonight that Kats donkament ( $1 rebuy) begins at Full Tilt at 2am UK time( password:donkarama) and the Britbloggerment game is open for registration....

ps Any spare Uefa final tickets??!


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Should I stay or should I go...

Although the weather has been fantastic and I was off on Monday it's not been a great week so far for a few reasons.I did enjoy last nights game at Ibrox which we won after a peach of a goal from Ferguson with less than twenty minutes left.That kept our Quadruple hopes alive!

After the game I watched The Apprentice and didn't bother playing any poker.I played six turbos without cashing on Tuesday night after running badly and not playing that well either.I wasn't in the mood to play and I should have recognised that and taken a break.Doh!

I've also spent the last few days/nights glued to Ebay to check on the price of tickets for the Uefa Cup final as sadly both my cousin and I missed out in the ballot held for season ticket holders.They are currently selling for around £1500 ( $3000) per pair and I've spent the week wondering if I should raid my poker roll to cover the cost.( my cousin would pay me back over 9-10 months)

Stop Press: Just finished speaking to a girl at my work with contacts in Russia( our opponents, Zenit St Petersburg, are Russian) and it looks like I can get tickets for around £130-£200.The only problem is that they'll be in the Zenit end of the ground, however I reckon there will be Rangers fans all over the stadium and it's worth taking the chance.Manchester here we come!

Ok,my cousin is visiting tonight and I'll probably be heading out tomorrow night.

Just time for this topical snippet from the paper...

As Rangers fans bid excessively for Uefa Cup final tickets, a fan bewails on a supporters' website: "My other half has just called, absolutely spitting feathers. She has just seen our bank statement and called to ask if I thought that spending over £1800 was a bit excessive for a football match.
I tried to explain it was a once-in-a-lifetime game. She then went off on one again saying the money could be put to better use. I asked what better use, and she replied, an engagement ring'. "So I reply, if we win I'll get you one, then'. Jesus Christ, I should have just kept quiet and taken the abuse." Proving once again that such sites are no place for relationship advice, a fellow fan replies: "You can always get another woman. You may never get another Uefa final."

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Bloggerment win

Thanks to the 11 players who showed up for this weeks Britbloggerment on Stars.The numbers have been down over the last few weeks and I'm tempted to give the tourney a wee rest for a few weeks.Despite the low turnout I did quite enjoy the game though and that's what makes me think it should just keep running for now.If no more than 9 turn up any week then the games a bogey I think though!

Weegem was the bubble boy after my A8 decimated his AK shove when an 8 hit.He had been raising more frequently than usual and I didn't think he'd shove all in with as strong a hand as Big Slick.With my Bloggerment luck over the last year I'll take it though!

I knocked Rosie out in 3rd when my KK held v A10 and finished Quixote off headsup when I called his k6 shove with my A9.He hit a 6 on the flop and I rivered a 9 to win.Later I came 3rd in a 45 player,$6 game and took down a $16 inbetween a few standard crash outs.

It may not mean much in the grand pokery scheme of things but I was quite pleased to move up another few notches on the Sharkscope leaderboard and earn a wee gold star.


I'm still a donk though.I decided to play a $27 turb and reached the final table with about a 2.3k stack.It folded round to me ( two off the button) and I took a brain fart and shoved my Q8s.I think the blinds were about 500 in total and although it would have been nice to take it down,I had no need to push garbage at that stage and got my just deserts when AQ called and I didn't improve.It's always better to make an aggressive mistake rather than a passive one but that shove was just burning money.

After my tourney fun I decided to look around for a juicy cash table to hit before bedtime.It didn't take long to find one!

Chevy1961 had been raising almost every pot and had obviously got quite lucky as he was sitting on a $750 stack at the start of this hand.

** Game ID 978129928 starting - 2008-05-05 03:57:14
** Woking [Hold 'em] (1.00|2.00 No Limit - Cash Game) Real Money

- norfolkk sitting in seat 1 with $108.37
- purpleSHEEP sitting in seat 2 with $74.06
- kalcapello sitting in seat 3 with $318.37
- ricmondo1 sitting in seat 4 with $158.75
- Acornman sitting in seat 5 with $193.00
- Badger1 sitting in seat 6 with $96.00
- dowson sitting in seat 7 with $261.26
- ALNASR sitting in seat 8 with $182.00 [Sitting out]
- CHEVY1961 sitting in seat 9 with $750.85 [Dealer]
- betyaskint sitting in seat 10 with $134.65

betyaskint posted the small blind - $1.00
norfolkk posted the big blind - $2.00

** Dealing card to Acornman: Jack of Spades, Ace of Spades
purpleSHEEP folded
kalcapello called - $2.00
ricmondo1 folded
Acornman called - $2.00>> I'd have considered a raise at a normal table.Here I limp,awaiting the standard preflop overbet by Chevy1961.
Badger1 folded
dowson called - $2.00
CHEVY1961 raised - $16.00>> 8bb lovely!
betyaskint folded
norfolkk folded
kalcapello folded
Acornman called - $16.00> tempted to 3 bet but I know I have no fold equity as Chevy doesn't have a fold button.
dowson folded

** Dealing the flop: 3 of Hearts, 4 of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds

Acornman checked>> I've hit my Ace.If it had been against any other player I'd be wary of AQ/AK hands which dominate me.Chevys preflop opening range is so wide that I'm fairly sure I'm ahead.

CHEVY1961 bet - $19.50>> weak c-bet from him.

Acornman called - $19.50>> I'm not too worried about any draws and happy to build the pot.

** Dealing the turn: Jack of Hearts

Acornman checked>> Hit my Jack kicker too and any worries of him having an A3/A4 type hand are gone.I'm almost certain he doesn't have flush either although I wouldn't be surprised to see him try and represent it.

CHEVY1961 bet - $78.00>>

Acornman raised - $156.00>> Time to go with my instincts that say I'm miles ahead.

CHEVY1961 called - $156.00

** Dealing the river: 8 of Diamonds
Acornman went all-in - $1.50
CHEVY1961 called - $1.50
Acornman shows: Jack of Spades, Ace of Spades
CHEVY1961 mucks:
Acornman wins $390.00 from the main pot >>Nice,I just wish I'd seen his mucked hand!

I think that AJ hand sent him over the edge! This hand was one of the funniest I've ever seen at the tables.It was obvious Chevvy was a marked man and people were doing anything to be in a pot with him.I'm guessing Purple sheep had a low pair and the turn and river were what beat him but I was cheering for tilty chevvy when his 9 high took down the $146 pot!

** Game ID 978130423 starting - 2008-05-05 04:01:27
** Woking [Hold 'em] (1.00|2.00 No Limit - Cash Game) Real Money

- norfolkk sitting in seat 1 with $107.37
- purpleSHEEP sitting in seat 2 with $71.06 [Dealer]
- kalcapello sitting in seat 3 with $262.37
- ricmondo1 sitting in seat 4 with $196.00
- Acornman sitting in seat 5 with $390.00
- Badger1 sitting in seat 6 with $96.00
- dowson sitting in seat 7 with $340.76
- CHEVY1961 sitting in seat 9 with $529.35
- betyaskint sitting in seat 10 with $134.65

kalcapello posted the small blind - $1.00
ricmondo1 posted the big blind - $2.00

** Dealing card to Acornman: Ace of Hearts, 4 of Diamonds
Acornman folded
Badger1 folded
dowson raised - $4.00
CHEVY1961 raised - $50.00
betyaskint folded
norfolkk folded
purpleSHEEP called - $50.00
kalcapello folded
ricmondo1 folded
dowson folded

** Dealing the flop: Jack of Clubs, 5 of Clubs, 10 of Hearts
CHEVY1961 bet - $107.00
purpleSHEEP went all-in - $21.06

** Dealing the turn: 10 of Clubs

** Dealing the river: Jack of Hearts

CHEVY1961 shows: 9 of Spades, 2 of Diamonds >> vnh sir!
purpleSHEEP mucks:
CHEVY1961 wins $146.12 from the main pot

Chevy soon went broke and I hit the sack.Off today for the bank holiday.I've got Nacho until tomorrow so I'm just about to feed him and take him over to the local pitches for a walk.

Thanks for reading.Back later in the week...

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

A good bad night

Although the post title may not make much sense that's how last night at the virtual tables felt to me.

AA cracked by 99 flopping quads,by 56 rivering a straight and by QQ rivering a queen.
K10 beaten by 45
QQ beaten by A8
1010 beaten by AQ
JJ beaten by J10soooted on bubble
K9 beaten by 79
K5 beaten by Q10
10J beaten by 89
KK beaten by AQ.

Those were just some of the hands which had me cursing last night.The good news is that I still managed to make $124 from my 16 games and felt more comfortable with the pace when multi-tabling four tables at a time.I think perhaps playing six at a time the other night made four seem a lot easier to handle.It's like speeding up to 90mph on the motorway and then slowing down to 70.Suddenly 70mph seems like a slow Sunday stroll.

I've even managed to creep up another place on one of the Sharkscope leaderboards.

After my last tourney I hit up Bet 365 and two tabled cash tables for 1/2 hour.I lost $20 on a $200nl 6 max table and won $85 at $100 nl 6 max.If the time hadn't been edging towards 5.30am I would have stayed longer at that $100 table as I had a decent stack and felt I had the measure of the other players.( two really big fish were spewing chips too!)

It's currently half-time in the football and Rangers are drawing 0-0 with Hibs.Our rivals won yesterday after yet another poor refs decision.This time the ball went out of play before they scored, but somehow the match officials failed to notice and their winner stood.They say these things even out over a season.There would need to be another 38 games for that to even have a chance of being true after recent weeks.

Ok,I'm off to watch the second half and then take Nacho for a long walk.Don't forget to register for tonights Bloggerment...

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ignorance is not bliss..

My neighbour returned from a "holiday from hell" last week.Dirty rooms,terrible food,rude staff and guests that fought drunkenly late into the night were just some of the lowlights.They booked a cheap deal through teletext and headed off hoping for the best.

I've booked many holidays via teletext in the past and have usually secured a good deal.The difference is that I'm quite thorough when it comes to looking into things in a bit more detail.I'd check Tripadvisor/holidaysuncovered etc and make sure ( as far as possible)that the hotel lived up to the brochure hype.

I don't have a huge interest in cars or laptops but when I bought mine,I made sure for the month or so before my purchase I read up on every model available,weighed up the pros and cons and made an informed decision.

To put it simply,when I spend money I like to have as much knowledge and background on my purchase as possible to minimise the chances of wasting my hard earned cash.

I feel the same way about my poker which is why I think I've found it hard to multi-table sngs to any great extent.I played 22 turbos last night on Stars and made $94 running at only 15% roi.ROI ( return on investment)figures based on 22 games mean very little as just one more race/coin flip won or lost would make a huge difference, but I can say that when I was 6 tabling last night I could feel that many of my decisions were more based on text book type plays rather than being founded on any great reads on my opponents.

I don't feel I ran particularly well over the 22 games, although I do wonder if I could have made a similar profit over half as many games by being able to focus harder on individual tables and opponents.I just don't enjoy the game as much when I'm forced into a marginal decision without knowing all the "it depends" factors required to make the move with the highest positive expectation.

Ego must come into it too.I've only played just short of 2000 sngs at Stars and when it seems like I'll never win a hand again during a downswing it's reassuring to be able to tell myself I have a good roi and that I'm on one the Sharky leaderboards for average profit.( up to number 8 whoooo!)

In reality whilst it is reassuring and a nice ego stroke to have decent roi stats,I'm still convinced the real profit in sng's comes from accepting a smaller edge and playing a far greater volume of games than I do.One of the very best players,Spacegravy,only has a 10% roi but he's played nearly 40k games and made over $180k! Sifosis only has a 6% roi figure...he's made $417k from just under 13k games.I'm also very well aware that my decent stats are only proof I can win at a very low level and are no guarantee at all that I wouldn't get the kicking of my life at slightly higher stakes!

I do think I need to push outside my comfort zone more often and start 6 tabling on a more regular basis.Of course making worse decisions as a consequence of playing more tables also enevitably leads to crashing out of more games and dealing with the emotions which come with that.

My tilt/steam control isn't too bad but nothing tests it quite like a session of 22 games where I only cash a few times and seem to fall to a ton of sick beats and lost races.Even after just under 2k games I can accept that those beats/lost races are fairly standard or least the rational part of my brain can most of the time! Albatross77 wrote a fine article on sng variance which Mark at Planet Gong linked to on his blog.I'd highly recommend it.

Anyways after my sng fun last night I hit up a Bet 365 6 max $200nl table and won just over $50 from a quick hit and run session..which was nice.

"Which is nice" is a catchphrase from The Fast Show and means I have an excuse to post one of my favourite Ted and Ralph clips..

For more laughs check out Rosies post on her recent conversation with a colleague at work.Top drawer!

I'm off to pick Nacho up and take him a long walk after dropping Step A off at her Dads.Thankfully I'm off on Monday for the bank holiday.Looking forward to a chilled out weekend....

ps Anyone got a spare Uefa Cup final ticket?!!

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Uefa Cup final here we come....

Achieving nine league titles in a row was a special moment I never thought could be equalled as a Rangers fan.I was wrong!

Last night as I waited for my cousin and Dudley to come round to watch the Uefa cup semi-final,making the final in Manchester suddenly seemed a million light years away.We were up against an Italian team currently ahead of AC Milan in the race for a Champions league spot in Serie A and possessing top quality players like Mutu,Vieri and Jorgensen in their ranks.

We broke out the beers and smokes as the game kicked off and sat back in nervous anticipation of what was to come.Fiorentena started well and kept the pressure on Rangers for most of the game, however we defended heroically and our keeper didn't actually have many saves to make.The match crept into extra time and still the deadlock remained unbroken.The tension and nerves were almost unbearable by this point as Dudley,my cousin and I reached for the pixie dust to regrow our gnawed fingers.

We had Daniel Cousin sent off with ten minutes of extra time remaining and somehow managed to hold out for the penalty shootout decider.I felt quietly confident as the shootout approached convincing myself that Rangers heart,spirit,mental strength and sheer determination would be enough to see us through against the more creative and flair filled Italian team.Then our captain,Barry Ferguson,stepped up to take Rangers first and had his penalty saved by their keeper.The nightmare scenario of being so near yet so far loomed large.

Both teams scored the next couple of kicks before our keeper,Neil Alexander,saved low to his left and after we scored our next penalty, Vieri hit his effort high over the bar.All that remained was for Nacho Novo ( who else!) to stay cool,step up and blast Rangers into our first European final since 1972 with a finely executed penalty low and hard into the corner of the net.

Tables were knocked over and ashtrays sent flying as we celebrated our historic result by going completely wild with joy.It's still sinking in that we were actually going to be playing in the Uefa cup final in Manchester on May 14th!

My guess is that between 80-120,000 people ( maybe more) will make the 220 mile trip down south although it looks like my cousin and I will have take my car as there isn't a coach or motorhome available to hire anywhere from here to Carlisle for that day! Seems like there's a better chance of securing a copy of "Fly Fishing" by JR Hartley!

As a season ticket holder I'll be in a ballot for a ticket and I'm seriously considering a major raid on my poker bankroll to pay for a ticket via ebay if I don't get lucky in the draw.

I did make it into my work for 8am but feel so tired I could be an extra from a zombie film.Thankfully it's a holiday weekend so hopefully I can catch up on lost sleep ( may grab an hour just now!) and get back to the tables for some pokery fun.I notice Full Tilt now have 18 player turbos and my cousin and I tried one last night before he went home.It was an $11 entry fee and seemed just as fishy as my usual $16,18 player games.Even having my 1010 shove called by A3 ( Ace on flop) couldn't wipe the smile from my face.

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